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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

What the Southern Baptist Convention Believed Concerning the Bible in 1914

1. We must be a Bible-knowing people. The Bible is of no value unless it is understood. If it merely lies on the center-table in Baptist homes, and is looked at with reverence, but not with intelligence, it is helpful, but not what we ought to make it. The Bible is no book of superstition; it is written for godly and pious men and women, who have minds to understand and can know. So it becomes us to give special attention to Bible study.

We should be ashamed to confess the Baptist faith as to the place of the Bible and be ignorant ourselves of what the Bible contains. We ought to be able to read it intelligently and understandingly. It ought to be an interesting book to us. We should avail ourselves of every opportunity in the Sunday school, in private classes, in training schools and in the B.Y.P.U. to make ourselves acquainted with the Bible. Above everything else, we should become intelligent listeners to the preaching of the gospel. We should understand that through preaching we are having the Bible interpreted for us, not only in single texts, but in its great, broad, sweeping purposes.

2. We must be a Bible-loving people. To know the Bible and not to care for it, is to make it a mere object of intellectual interest. When we are interested in the Bible from a spiritual standpoint, we will love the Bible. If we will let the Bible have a place in our actual life, becoming the companion of our need, we will be taught to love it because of its helpfulness.

It is true, when we go to the Bible with a spiritual purpose, that the better we know it the better shall we love it. We cannot love the Bible if we do not have an intelligent idea of its contents, but we must go to it with this sense of spiritual need if we are really to love it. A habit of daily reading is the surest way to keep the Bible in our lives, so that we may not only be interested in its contents, but may go to its pages with genuine affection.

3. We must have a Bible-reverencing constituency. The great point in Bible study is to be willing to obey after we know. The Bible is interesting merely as history, or as a study in sociology, or to satisfy our interest in religion, but it speaks its secrets to no one until that one comes with the obeying spirit to its pages. When we believe it is God’s Word, and that God is speaking, then the Bible will not only have authority for us, but will appeal to our reverence.

We will obey its teachings, and not simply because we are afraid to disobey, but we will obey its teachings because of love for the one who gave us the Book. It is this spirit of Bible-reverence that we need to keep in the world as Christians. It is peculiarly necessary if our Baptist faith is to perpetuate itself. We differ from other people at so many points, and it is so unfashionable to be unlike other folks, that we shall be willing to stand by the plain teaching of the Bible only when we have this spirit of reverence for it as God’s Word. We must never speak lightly of it, and we must try to lead others to this same spirit of reverence which will be the spirit of obedience.

Editor’s Note: For the most part, the Southern Baptist Convention, today, don’t even believe they have the Word of God. Even their mighty evangelist Billy Graham has switched from the KJV to the new modern versions. The Bible has become secondary to them. They definitely don’t obey it, especially in the matter of separation.

Southern Baptist Convention

From the Baptist Spirit, 1914